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Searching for preamp with the following:

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bob C, Sep 4, 2000.


  1. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    1 input gain control and peak LED
    2 compressor
    3 four-band parametric
    4 not Eden or SWR

     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The good news:These are cheaper than most new or used preamps.

    The bad news: they're hard as heck to find.

    The AMP BH-420 has the features you want, in a 400w head. I know this probably doesn't help... I just love to talk about my amp.


    [​IMG]

     
  3. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Thanks Brad, but I'm looking for just a preamp. Why is it that so many companies offer less features on their preamps than on their integrated amps? I suspect that they anticipate that if you want add-ons, you'll use high-end studio grade rack units. By the way, how old is that AMP of yours anyway?
     
  4. JimM

    JimM

    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Well,I'm looking at a Bass Player Mag special gear issue that came out in fall of 98.There is a review of preamps.The only thing like what you want is a GT electronics model STP-B.But,alas,it's made by SWR.Also I think they are no longer being made so you'd have to hunt down a used one.

    The next closest thing is a Carvin Pro Bass 15 which is also discontinued.It has 4-band EQ,but it doesnt look like true parametric EQ.
     
  5. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I guess I should have said "semi-parametric", since very few manufacturers bother with the width, or "Q" control. I think the Eden Navigator has it all for features, but the sound is just "okay". I wonder why Carvin discontinued the separate preamp.
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Have you tried the Navigator through different power amps? It's hard for me to imagine that you can't get the sound you're looking for out of it. What kind of bass are you playing through it?
     
  7. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Munjibunga,

    I haven't ruled out the Navigator altogether. I mostly think Eden is a little overrated in general. The "enhance" control is kind of gimicky, and I agree with a previous poster (I forget which thread) that Eden's sound just kind of "sits there".

    I don't own one. But I've tried out lots of Eden heads and combos in stores with my Carvin LB70, as well as with Laklands, Warwicks, and Fenders. No one ever has the preamp in stock - so your point about the power is well taken.

    I haven't given up on the Eden or any other brand yet. I've used a Hartke 3500 head for quite a while. As straight-forward as this head is, I'm still discovering new ways to get myself "out of a box" (mentally) regarding tweaking its sound.

    However, I really want more headroom and flexibility...and need a change. Hence, the search for separate components. Any further tips on the Eden or other preamps would be gladly welcomed.

    Bob

    [Edited by Bob C on 09-04-2000 at 09:12 PM]
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It's from the late 80's, Bob. It's my main "big" amp. I figured you didn't want full parametric with a Q control... when would you have time to play?;)

    There is a preamp only version but I don't recall if it has the semi-parametric EQ.

    I don't use my EQ, haven't used it in ten years. The AMP has a tone balance control that's pretty cool, it sweeps your total sound to more bassy or trebley. Basically deeper or brighter, with one knob. I usually don't use it either:D

    It has a limiter which I don't use and an Enhance switch that I don't use either. And a crossover which or course...I don't use:D

    So...with all of these controls the only thing I use on the amp are Gain and Volume and sometimes (rarely) the Tone Balance. There's a reason for that. Everything I plug into this head sounds great without tweaking.

    Remember Fonzie, looking in the mirror getting ready to comb his hair , then deciding AAAAAYYY...it's already perfect? That's this amp. Why mess with it?

    Can you tell I like this amp?;)
     
  9. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Brad,

    That's awesome! I envy you. In recent years I've found less need to do any major eq tweaking, for a number of reasons (better guitar, more appropriate cabinet, more PA support, etc). But it's nice to have some of the extras, in case you need them.

    Bob
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Bob,

    I've been using an Eden WT-300 Traveler for about the last five years. I'm one of those folks who just likes the Eden sound. I like the WT-300 for its simple controls. I've thought about just using it as a pre-amp into something big like a WT-1000 if I need the power (using the WT-300 for the stage cabinet). It sounds good set flat. You can use the enhance control to make it sound more "Eden-like," or you can turn it all the way down and out of the circuit. If you get the chance, play the Navigator (with power amp) through an Eden D-410XLT or two. Dunno, I just like it.
     
  11. Where are you located, Bob? I live in San Francisco, and I have a Navigator I'm not using anymore (I switched to a Kern IP-777). If you are perhaps local to me I'd be willing to let you borrow it to try it with a variety of power amps.

    I used it with QSC PLX-series amps, as well as with Mackie and a Crown Powerbase2. The power amp DOES make a big difference. For me, the sound was clearly the best with the QSC PLX amps.

    Why did I switch? Well, since getting my Sadowsky and a pair of Acme Low B2-II cabinets, I found I no longer needed the bells and whistles the Navigator has, and the Kern gives me just what I need in one less rack space.

    But I certainly never had any PROBLEM with the sound of the Navigator, I think it sounds awesome, and it has the only built-in compressor I've ever used that was actually useful. The compressor built in to all the Eden heads sucks, and is best used in the disabled mode.
     
  12. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    it may not be exactly what your looking for but it may be worth looking into. Its an Ampeg SVP-PRO, its strictly a preamp.
     
  13. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Michael,

    I live in Minnesota - not exactly local to you, but thanks for the offer.

    As you might know from some of my previous posts, I'm working on replacing my head and big cabinet with the ultimate rack system. I'm leaning toward Acme speakers and the QSC PLX2402 (sound familiar?), but haven't decided on the preamp yet.

    I don't own any of the new pieces yet, so I haven't been able to mix and match while auditioning equipment - other than in music stores. I've tried the Eden WT800, figuring it's the same preamp as the Navigator...so it should sound close. Right or wrong?

    For the record, I've spent lots of time noodling with the Ashdown ABM head, Aguilar preamp (the deluxe one) and Ampeg SVP. They all sound good, but no holy grail. Oh well, looking is half the fun!

    Bob

    [Edited by Bob C on 09-05-2000 at 11:52 AM]
     
  14. Doug

    Doug

    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    I'll second this. Great preamp for alot less money than most other brands. Slap some good quality preamp tubes in there and you got yourself a real winner.
     
  15. Sure does! I have a PLX-1602 and upgraded to a PLX-2402. The 1602 wasn't quite enough suds for the two Acmes. It's now doing duty as a monitor amp in my PA though.

    Well, it's definitely not the same. It is probably similar, but I'm not sure how "close". It has several additional features that aren't on the WT-800:

    1) A decent compressor with variable threshold and ratio

    2) A "tube character" control that can make it sound fairly "Ampegy"

    ...and since I'm convinced the poweramp section makes a difference in the sound, when testing the WT-800 you are using the internal amp only which probably has a different sound than the QSC.

    One thing you might check is the "indexing" of the EQ knobs. I know it sounds silly, but with the very powerful Eden EQ system, if you are trying to set it flat, for instance, for comparison, if the knobs aren't "indexed" correctly, it won't be flat.

    The Eden knobs have a problem... the little colored center sections can fall out fairly easily, and they are not keyed to the knobs... so when you put them back in, they can be pointing ANYWHERE. I found the way I like to do it is pop them off, twist the knob fully CCW, then put the little insert back in so it's pointing at the fully CCW mark on the panel. Then rotate it fully CW and it should now be pointing at the full CW mark on the panel. If you now set the pointer to 12 o'clock (which should be "flat", no boost or gain), you can rely on the setting.

    If you don't think it matters, especially for comparisons, rotate one of those cut/boost knobs about 5 degrees... they are REAL sensitive.

    I haven't played any of those, but I have played the Aguilar DB-659 which is the single-space little brother of the DB-680. I liked it, but I like my Kern better.

    The DB-680 intrigues me, but not enough to pay that much money for it and have to yield one more rack space for it. It also weighs 17lbs., which offends my sense of portability.
     
  16. I had an Eden wt-400, then wt-800 which I dropped off today for a Kern preamp and amp TBA (QSC, Crown K or Microtech series).

    The Eden 800 sounded great but my EA 2x10 cab needed more headroom so I went for separates. The Eden eq is active and very, very effective.

    However, the Kern eq is quite effective (albeit passive) and simpler. I'm not a big fan of feature laden amps and parametrics. The Kern's great tone, versatility, and simplicity are wonderful. Maybe I can't get drastic eq changes like the Eden but I can get enough tonal variation with the Kern (old school Jamerson or Marcus Miller power scoop). And the tone of the Kern is beautiful. It lacks a compressor but that isn't important to me. You probably couldn't go wrong either way with Kern, Aguilar, or Eden Navigator.

    The Aguilar DB680 cost twice as much as the Kern and has more bells and whistles which is not to my taste.

    BTW, FYI, Ashdown makes a bass preamp.
     
  17. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Thanks Jim. Yes, I was aware that Ashdown made a preamp. Their amp blew me away the first time I tried one...the second time, the thrill wore off.

    As for the Kern, I don't know...maybe I had a headache that day.

    I'm not a big knob twiddler - I could live without a compressor. I've always used graphic eq's, but I like the idea of having a parametric available to add that precise touch of punch or sparkle, or to cut out that one frequency that booms or honks offensively.

    I also like the idea of a gain peak light to warn that you're overdriving. Neither Kern nor Aguilar has this. Can I live without it? Yes. Should I? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll end up giving Eden another listen.

    Bob
     
  18. Dunno about Aguilar, but the Kern DOES have a gain peak light, between the input jack and the volume knob.
     
  19. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Well, I guess it's "back to the music store" for me.
     
  20. I don't use compression live, nor do I feel the need for a parametric or graphic EQ with my present setup.

    But keep in mind that the kern does have a very nice totally tube-driven effects loop, and should you feel the need for that stuff after getting used to the Kern's "minimalist" controls, you can always insert an RNC (a FAR better compressor than you'll find built into anything) and or an EQ unit in that effects loop. For instance, Rane makes some pretty nice single rackspace FULL parametrics (including Q) such as the PE-17, and they aren't all that expensive, and again, one of those is going to be clearly a better parametric than anything built into a bass preamp.

    See: http://www.rane.com/pe17.html and http://www.fmraudio.com